The Self-Checkout Dilemma Solved
Consider the explosive power of gasoline. A single gallon, perhaps the one around the garage for the lawnmower can vaporize and fill the space of a 250 gallon tank with explosive vapors; that one gallon of lawnmower gas has the explosive energy of 83 sticks of dynamite.
Did you know you once or twice a week may be pumping 1,600 or so sticks of dynamite into your cars tank? Stories abound of static electricity sparking fires at gas stations, drive offs leave the hose spewing fuel all over the ground like a writhing snake. Danger signs abound at the pumps warning you not to smoke while fueling your car. We do it daily, but gasoline could kill us at almost anytime.
Gas station commercials of yesteryear were not only full-serve but advertised their service was faster than the competitions, it was a race to fill your tank for you as you sat comfortably in the car. Who remembers the phrase may I check your oil and coolant for you sir? You didn't have to ask them to clean the windshield, that was part of the standard service at a service station.
During the so-called energy crisis of the early 1970s as per-gallon prices skyrocketed from around twenty-five cents a gallon to over thirty-five, some station operators began to offer self-serve pumps.
Gas stations began to offer letting you fill your own tank, with a discount on the gallon for pumping it yourself. The idea caught on, when is the last time you visited a full-serve gas station? Buccees stands as a glorious shining example of how the marketeers lured us into handling highly explosive liquid dynamite ourselves. We're all exposed to toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and risk severe injury or even death at the pump. I've seen some people letting their children fill the tank.
Nowadays social media is littered with the question of whether or not to use the self-checkout at grocery and other stores. WalMart of course is generally credited with pioneering us doing our own work.
The social media argument is that if you use the self-checkout you're putting a checker out of work. That is unless it's me using it, then a store employee has to come over and assist me, which usually ends up in her calling her manager to try to fix some jam I'd created. An IT team on standby has to swoop in and re-set the entire machine to fix my mistakes after I've left the store. Me doing my own checkout actually creates jobs, but I digress from my point.
Here's my point and the solution to this self-serve conundrum; like the gas station of old, the self-checkout at the grocery stores should offer a discount for doing the work yourself. A really nice, deep discount too since it actually requires much more physical effort than leaning on your car while a pump does all the work.
The next time you're rolling up to the 83 checkout stands, four of which are manned, with lines reaching into the clothing department and someone asks you if you'd prefer instead to use the several self-checkout kiosks, ask them what the discount is for you doing all the work.
You'll most likely get a puzzled blank stare, but if this solution spreads, if millions of people start asking for discounts for doing their own checking who knows what could happen.
Band together my friends, be bold and revolt at the registers.